The National Fisheries Institute (NFI), with financial support from the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF), announced 11 June it is partnering with IBM’s Food Trust to create a blockchain-based seafood supply chain traceability program.
NFI is the largest U.S. seafood industry trade group. IBM’s Food Trust is a blockchain-based system that creates a shared record of food data, and that system will introduced to NFI members. Members – including harvesters, importers, processers, cold storage, foodservice restaurants, and retailers – are all involved with the program.
“We are excited that NFI and the real seafood value-chain will test IBM’s technology,” NFI President John Connelly said. “NFI members’ supply chains are dynamic and wide-reaching, a fertile ground for this type of pilot.”
IBM’s Food Trust allows companies to continue to have some control over the data after it has been uploaded to the Food Trust, including who can see the data and how long they maintain control of it, according to an NFI release.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to transform any industry, especially when we have multi-stakeholder environments, businesses and organizations participating,” IBM Food Trust General Manager Raj Rao said. “Blockchain can digitize information, capture it in a decentralized system and convey it in a secure way and allows for permissioned viewing rights. We are delighted to work closely with NFI, and the seafood industry in this pioneering endeavor.”
The goal of the partnership is to test out how the system can help businesses related to seafood assist with traceability.
“Traceability is nothing new to the seafood community but blockchain is,” Fortune Fish and Gourmet CEO and SIRF Chairman Sean O’Scannlain said. “Whether it’s farmed or wild, we will test how IBM’s Food Trust can help seafood businesses generate revenue and reduce costs, from harvest to distribution to our customers.”